Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Child Apron Tutorial

Child apron tutorial

I looked at a lot of different apron ideas before settling on this one. I picked this apron because I wanted it to be sturdy and cover a lot of space while doing art, cooking and science projects. I really liked that the child could loosen the head piece to fit it over their head and then pull it tight. Most aprons were loose on top, which isn't good for keeping clean, or you need a D ring or some other fastener to tighten it, which I really didn't want to mess with.

The Pattern

I used this Instructables tutorial for making a chef's apron. To the left is a picture of my measurements.

I was making these for kids ranging in ages from 3 years to 9 years, so I made them a little long so they weren't too short for the older kids. They seemed a good length for the younger ones too.

I drew my pattern on freezer paper, mostly because I had a huge roll of it that I wasn't using. It worked perfectly and was translucent enough to trace the casing. You can also use parchment paper or tissue paper.

I estimated a yard per apron and had left overs. I went shopping on Black Friday and Joanne's had amazing deals before noon. I purchased duck canvas and cotton twill at Jo Ann's for $4.11/yard! I bought a lot of different things that day and the savings were pretty amazing, and there weren't the crowds like at other Black Friday sales. These fabrics are really sturdy for the type of wear I was expecting to put them through.

After tracing the main body of the apron, draw a line 2" from the arm hole to make the casing.

Time to Cut & Sew

Take the pattern and trace it onto your fabric with the long side resting against the fold. You should end up with one large piece of fabric for the main part of the apron and 2 casing pieces.

Once the pieces are cut, you can embroider the child's name or an image to make it more personal. If you don't have an embroidery machine, iron-on's are a fun alternative.

Take the casing pieces and press down the long side 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch. This ironing is a very important step that will make sewing much easier later.

Pin the casing to the edge of the main piece of fabric with right sides together. Sew both pieces.

Fold and press the top of the apron 3/8 - 1/2 over twice and then sew. Repeat this with the two sides. Make sure casing is open when you do this.

Fold the casing towards the back of the apron so wrong sides are together. Press. Pin and sew close to the edge of the long edge of the casing. The strips need to fit through the open space so the opening needs to be wide enough to let it fit.

This is the back side of the apron once sewn:

Hem the bottom, same as the top and sides.

Making Bias Tape

To make the strip, cut a strip of fabric 2" wide by 70" long or two strips of fabric 2" wide by 35" long. These could be made even longer if you want extra long strips. If using two strips, you need to start by sewing them together. Place the two strips at a 90 degree angle to each other. Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner as shown below.

Sew along the diagonal line. Trim the corner off of the fabric. My photo below shows a very close trim. After some practice, I learned that this should not be so close. You should leave at least 1/4" of fabric from sewing line.

Press the crease, with the raw edges open.

Now time to make bias tape. For these apron strips, I was making them 1/2" wide. I purchased this bias tape maker for $7 on Amazon. I bought a 1/2" bias tape maker at first and then realized it was too small. I then purchased the 1" bias tape maker. 2" of fabric enter the device and fold it into bias tape 1" wide. Then you fold it in half and iron it flat, leaving you with a 1/2" strip. If you use a bias tape make, use the 1" size. You can also do this old school by folding the strip in half, ironing and then folding the two long edges in the the center crease and ironing again. It's way more work but will have the same result.

As the fabric goes through the bias tape maker, iron the fabric.

Fold in half again and iron flat. Fold the ends in and pin. Sew the ends and along the length of the bias tape.

Now that the strip is sewn, attach a safety pin and thread it through the casing pieces to make a neck loop. Tie knots at the end of the strips so they don't get pulled through the casing easily. The little ones love to pull the strips right out and leave you rethreading again and again. I learned this the hard way!

Enjoy countless hours of fun activities in these aprons!